Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Open Innovation in early Pharma: #2

Networked Pharma – Finance (NWkRx F5)

I recently spoke with Harry Wilson of Innocentive’s UK office about Open Innovation & Crowdsourcing in Pharma discovery.

Innocentive originally spun out from Lilly, and their UK office was obtained by acquiring Omnicomplete (itself a spinout of LBS).  They operate as a platform where “seekers” can post their R&D “Challenges”, and solvers post their responses. The seeker often stays anonymous and the responses are held confidentially. Solvers are selected on a basis of submitted plans, with the financial reward only being paid out if solvers meet the pre-defined criteria. In this way, seekers only pay for results, not research time.

Most of their work so far has been pharmaceutical, although they are now diversifying.  Seekers are companies, charities, and other organisation. 

There are three levels of challenge available to a seeker (with increasing price for the service), Brainstorm (self-service using their platform), Premium (which involves their experts) and a Grand Challenge which is “transformative” in the world and is phased with intermediate challenges. The latter involves therapy area experts, and is typified by the recently successfully completed $1m Prize4Life which sought to identify a biomarker for ALS (needed to reduce timescale and costs of clinical trials).  See their case study blog.
Recent developments are;
  • Combining Crowsourcing with Crowdfunding, via the peer-to-peer philanthropy marketplace GlobalGiving, and the Rockefeller Foundation, to crowdsource solutions to problems facing vulnerable communities. Blog.
  • Discussing with VCs the possibility of combining activities in “Prize Venturing
Although neither of these are specifically pharmaceutical, they are interesting as new approaches worth considering.

Siobhan Gibney Gomis, Senior Director of Operations Grand Challenges, and Deputy Head of EMEA, InnoCentive, will be attending the Networked Pharma Funds & Fundability workshop on 28th June in London http://www.networkedpharma.com/funding.

BioSpring Ltd is a member of Networked Pharma Partnership, a not for profit organisation dedicated to assisting development of a new paradigm for drug discover & development

Networked Pharma PartnershipBuilding Innovative Networks in Drug Discovery & Development

A series of workshops are being run during 2012, leading to an international congress in early 2013, which will bring together all stake-holders (Corporate Pharmas, SMEs, CROs, Universities, VCs, CVCs, Research Councils, Charities, Regulators & Government bodies etc.) to formulate the new business model(s) for the future success of the industry.

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